UBA Plc is now the majority owner of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) following the failure of the majority owners, the KANN Consortium to service their debt.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) clarified that the changes in the management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company ( AEDC) was not due to directives from the federal government.
Chairman, NERC, Sanusi Garba and director general, BPE, Alex Okoh, said in a joint statement, “the action to appoint an interim team to manage AEDC was not done on the basis of a directive from the federal government but on the basis of legal processes arising from the failure of the core investor in AEDC to meet its obligations to a lender.
AEDC, they said, is the licensed utility that serves end-use customers in Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory, and there has been an ongoing dispute amongst competing factions of AEDC’s majority shareholder/core investor like KANN Utility Company Limited (KANN).
This, they said, eventually spilled over to a dispute with the lender that provided the acquisition loan to KANN for the acquisition of majority shares during the privatisation exercise in 2013, over KANN ‘s inability to service its debt to the bank.
The Ministry of Power also made the same clarification in a statement today.
“The attention of the Federal Ministry of Power has been drawn to publications in the print and electronic media relating to recent changes in the ownership structure and management at the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company PIc (“AEDC”).
“While noting that the news has largely been communicated out of context, the Ministry wishes to notify all stakeholders that the AEDC has, of recent, been facing significant operational challenges arising from a dispute between the core investors (KANN consortium) as owners of 60% equity in AEDC and the UBA as lenders for the acquisition for the majority shareholding in the public utility.
“The situation has currently deteriorated due to lack of access to intervention finances leading to a point whereby legitimate entitlements of the staff are being owed thus leading to service disruptions on 6th December 2021 within its franchise area.
Documents provided by the receiver/manager indicated that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has issued an Interim order of judicial protection against a company, Kann Utility Company Limited.
The court ordered Mr Bode Olanipekun, SAN, the appointed receiver/manager by United Capital Trustees Limited, the 2nd plaintiff in the matter to take over the management of the company.
The court order Capital Trustees Limited, through its appointed receiver manager to take over and manage all the assets and undertaking of the 1st defendant charged as security under the All Assets Debenture Deed.
Justice M.S. Hassan also made a restraining order, stopping the firm from disposing all its assets both in and outside of the jurisdiction of the court.
In the suit, United Bank for Africa is listed as the 1st plaintiff in the matter.
Listed as defendants in the matter are Ambassador Shehu Malami, Sinyanga Malumo, Ahmad Maivaki, Reynolds Bowa, Olusegun Doherty, Emmanuel Katepa and Inspector General of Police.